All Downswing Triggers

By | on July 5, 2016 | 34 Comments | Array


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Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

34 Responses to “All Downswing Triggers”

  1. July 6, 2016


    GREETINGS COACH two or three weeks ago I said my trigger was A to B, well I am changing it. Now, as soon as I feel my wrist hinge on my backswing my next thought and feeling is my left leg straightening. After all the years of golfing I am finally gaining confidence in my swing feeling the backswing hinge . I am working on keeping that feeling on all the clubs with the exception of the 4 knuckle stroke. HINGE and TURN sounds easy enough to do but I can see that it takes swing after swing after swing to make it stick. THANKS COACH

    • John,

      That trigger is perfectly fine and suggested as going from point at to b is not specific enough.

      Not sure what you mean about 4 knuckle stroke.

      Yes, you need to be doing this daily until you are good at it. This is why I recommend lots of practice swings. Just stick with this trigger and get good at it. Couple this with the hinge and you should see amazing results.

  2. July 6, 2016


    Initially I choose the “locking the left leg” trigger and found it to be effective for me as a left handed person who plays golf right handed. Over time, I found that there were times when I did it incorrecty and the leg did straiten, but I really didn’t make much of a turn. I am working now on the “belt buckle” trigger as that one will better ensure that I do make a COMPLETE turn to the touch the legs position. The forward leg will still have to lock, but will do so as the result of the turn as it shoud. A good, timely review for me with this tip. Thanks.

    • Gary,

      Good stuff. You may have been jumping when trying to lock the leg. As I said in the tip, it locks because you are turning. This belt buckle turning will definitely help you feel how the lead leg locks. You might want to go back to it in the future or not. Totally up to you and what works.

  3. July 6, 2016


    Hey Paul, this is completely unrelated but have you by chance been able to use the optishot 2 golf simulator? I wanted to make sure you recommended it before i bought it.

    • Jason,

      Unfortunately, I have not used this simulator. It gets good review on Amazon though.

  4. Hi Paul The first response to this “trigger” tip refers to a 4-knuckle stroke, reference Mr Hoyle. I must have missed something — what is a 4-knuckle stroke? thanks.

  5. Paul I am enjoying your tips and happy to say that my over all game has improved .

    • Usha,

      Glad you are improving. Take it one step at a time and keep focusing on building a great swing. A great swing hits great shots which leads to lower scores.

  6. Coach Paul Thanks for the tips. I tried the roll over drill at home and then went to the range to test it out. Did not slice, but a friend pointed out that we had a strong tail wind, which reduced the slice probability. I need to go back when the wind conditions are a headwind or a left to right X-wind. Make sense?

    • Thomas,

      That would reduce it a little but it wouldn’t completely stop it from slicing. I would think you are close. Let us know once you get out with no wind. The tips will fix you in no time. Curing slices is easy.

  7. Hi Paul,

    The trigger that you use sounds like the best one for me because I can use it as a reminder to use the entire right leg to power the swing. The tightening of the different parts of the leg and hip must provide a good measure of feedback. My question is – are the feelings in the leg the same on all full swings regardless of the club being used?

    Thanks again,

    • Len,

      Glad you are making a choice. Yes, I feel the same thing on every club although I do it harder the longer the club gets.

  8. Hello Paul,

    I have been a big fan of your teaching style for the past 5 years. This is the part of my game that really needs the most work. I understand the concept of a downswing trigger and I have been going back and forth between your method and the belt buckle method. I do the helicopter drill on a regular basis (eyes open and closed) . In fact I try to do the the 3 to 1 ratio you mentioned in your book (ie. three helicopter rotations and then the hit a ball) when I am working on the range. I have tried to do your favorite drill a thousand times but I find that I still start my swing with the my hands (I get the concept of powerless arms but I can get the feel) rather than getting the “feel” of initiating my downswing with my lower body. I have tried your favorite drill and the helicopter drill with my eyes closed to try and get the feel of using the correct muscles to initiate the downswing. I have used the somax hip trainer and the power band that you recommend and it doesn’t seem to develop the muscle memory or proper feeling that I need when I am actually on the golf course. I have used a cue word on the course to remind me of what I am supposed to be doing with my lower body. My inconsistent shots are hooks or pull hooks and hitting the ball fat. I have seen your tips on why this happens and I understand what I am doing wrong. Is there anything else that you can recommend with regards to downswing drills that can help me to get the proper feel of using my downswing trigger without having to think about. I am all for repetition and I will do it whatever reps you want me to do but I just wanted some ideas or drills from you to develop the “feel” for my downswing trigger. What I am doing so far just doesn’t seem to be producing the consistency I am looking for.

    When I initiate the downswing trigger properly it is amazing how far and how easy my ball travels. I have never hit ball so well.

    Consistency is just not happening.

    thanks again for your help,

    John Stevenson
    Sherwood Park, Alberta

    • August 15, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you like my teaching. I appreciate it.

      Here are my comments:

      1. It should be 3 practice swings (no helicopter drills per ball if you are working on your swing positions)

      2. If you are doing my favorite drill you are making the club with with your legs and hips and getting used to this feeling of them powering the swing. Then in reality you are applying this very same feeling to your shots.

      3. I don’t recommend either of those products as I have never used them but the Somax does look interesting and seems like it would be a good training aid.

      4. Have you tried manually tilting your body behind the ball to get the ball going right of target? For those having trouble I have suggested this and even done a few tips on it.


      Cures – Manually Tilt To Stop Pulling:

      Remembering How Cure Pulled Shots:

      2 Things Flatten the Plane:

      Final Thoughts:

      1. Have you done a swing analysis with Pete? They are $20. This way we can check it to see what you are doing. We would do them free but we don’t have time plus our whole day would be doing swing analysis.

      2. As you do my favorite drill do this too:

      Drill: Swing Up with Driver:

      3. Read what I just posted for another member. Sounds like you are in the same boat:


      It’s really not that hard because I have no problem getting someone to do it when they are working with me in person. If I get them hooking it consistently. All I have to do is get them to switch to body rotation. If their body TURNS before the club comes down they hit it dead straight. This will take me all of 3 balls to get them to do it. So try it. Get the ball hooking consistently. I still don’t think you can do this. Consistently means 10 in a row. On the 11th ball you still feel the release but that is not your main thought. Your main thought switches to turning the hips first in the downswing. If you do not turn them fast enough you still get a pull hook. Turn them too fast you get a push fade. If you slice it you have not hooked enough balls. If you push fade the first one back up. Roll it in practice swings. Try again but with slower leg drive. If you push fade a second one go back to hooking.

      What you have to realize is hooking is way better than putting slice spin on it. Even if you are hooking every ball it’s a good thing. It means you are releasing the club. At this point you are never thinking about release it. If you are not thinking of releasing it you are down to the singular thought of turning your body first in the downswing.

      I the the feeling you are still working on both things. The release has to be crystal clear and consistent so you never have to think about it. Do you think I am thinking about releasing it? No way. I have done this millions of times. I have a pull hook for about 5 years before I figured out how to use the body too straighten it out. So focus on mastering the release. If you play aim right for now. Just get it hooking.

      Once you have this under your belt you are only focusing on the body and straightening it out.

    • August 15, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      Also, have you been trying to keep your head behind it at impact? You can also look at the back of the ball as you hit it. I remember doing this many years ago. Keep in mind doing these things will cause you to push it. I prefer working on it by hooking it first then adding body. Way easier this way. Focus on what I said in the previous reply.

  9. December 8, 2016


    Hi Paul,
    I love you swing tips and they have greatly improved my game, but over the last few months I have modified my downswing trigger thought which solves previous problems I was having and it is working really well for me so I thought I would share it with you.

    I was previously using your favorite trigger, push off the back leg, but because it is a forward push I was tending to overdo the forward thought and end up with a slide. The other body twisting thoughts were also sending my body forward to much also. So now I am using a backward thought and it works a treat because I am not thinking forward in any way. I think of my front leg cheek and turning it backward. I guess it is a bit like straightening the front leg, but that never worked for me because I tended to straighten it too early.

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      December 9, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you like the tips. I appreciate the feedback.

      This trigger is fine. It would be considered turning of the hips which is one the triggers. A lot of people like that one. Hogan makes reference to it in one of his videos. Keep doing it.

  10. Hi Paul
    I have got an injury of my left leg, so it is a little bit unstable and i can’t lock it completely
    without pain.
    is there any way to get a stable swing without locking my left knee completely
    What trigger shall i take?

    • Avatar photo

      February 5, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      Well, you are going to have to be careful and keep on the lookout for pushed shots. If you keep the knee a little bent it may cause too much lateral motion. The more you slide, the more you tilt, the more the club attacks from the inside. This would produce a draw if the face was slightly closed to the path. This is no big deal. Although I like people hitting it straight or slightly fading I teach people to draw it all of the time. So I would be using the hips, belt buckle or back leg as the trigger as opposed to the lead leg. Watch your ball. If you see them starting right of target (for a righty) then keep doing this but work on the release to get the ball to fall left (draw).

      I like the leg to lock to create speed of rotation of the body as well as making sure there is no slide. If you have a physical issue then you have to make so with what you’ve got and what you are able to do. Not a big deal as it will still work. Just be careful.

  11. April 21, 2017


    I’ve experimented with all of Paul’s triggers, but none of them has really stuck with me. I’ve now come up with my own, which I’ll share with you in case you might find it useful.

    It’s simple. Once my upper body is fully coiled at the top of the backswing and I feel the stretch in my lats, I initiate the downswing by thinking of twisting my left forward buttock behind my right. (Alternatively, you could think of turning the right buttock in front of the left.)

    This has the effect that all triggers do of rotating the hips, but what I think is different about it that I like is that it unconsciously activates the glutes and abs. I’m telling the muscles in my butt to engage in a tight twisting action. Thinking of turning the belt buckle doesn’t really guard against introducing a sway into the swing. It doesn’t, in my mind, ask me to rotate in a tight circle. Twisting one cheek behind the other does do that for me.

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      April 23, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      This is kind of like my hip trigger. Left hip back. If your thinking works then keep doing it. I will keep it in mind for the future.

  12. Game progressing. Last couple of rounds first time ive really felt swing being powered by the lower with occasional powerless arms.

    My downswing trigger question is this, after experimenting with different triggers, ive found, ironsarr sweeter with pushing off right foot but driver and 3 wood are longer and straighter with getting that belt buckle to the target, when i use the belt buckle trigger with the irons i get lots of thin pushes witht the odd top.

    Any thoughts?

    • Shane,

      I’ve never heard of someone having too triggers before. Sounds like you are driving the belt buckle to hard which is causing you to come out of it. Why not slow down for a while until you can do it better then gradually speed it up. You might be wanting too much too fast. Also, watch the tip below. It may get you on track:

      DRILL: Golf Swing Timing For More Distance:

  13. Paul, i find the knee in front of the ball trigger works best for me. This trigger also helps keeps my body tilted and head behind the ball. The longer the club the more i focus on this trigger in my practice swings. I feel driving my bodies momentum/power/swing to that spot in front of the ball creates powerful and clean contact. Wish i would have figured this out years ago. Such an “ah ha” moment when it comes together.

    • David,

      Very good. Most people don’t like this one but then again, I don’t think people have tried it. Works great for some people. Now just remember … a downswing trigger is for life!

  14. Paul, I know from your cures what I am doing wrong when I pull, and I’m working on that. But I was also wondering if there is a downswing trigger that has helped more than the others for your students who tend to pull the ball. Right now I’m going back and forth between the one you use, and straightening the left leg. I know, I need to settle on one lol.

  15. November 12, 2019


    Hello Paul
    I have been following your training religiously for over a year. At the range I am able to touch the legs & hit great shots without using my arms. However when I am on the course it seems I forget everything. I don’t touch the legs start hitting with my arms topping & also hitting fat shots(staying on my back foot) In the beginning I thought it was being nervous but at this point it’s not the case. Any advice to stop this from happening on the course???

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      November 13, 2019

      Paul Wilson


      So slow down and just do it. Right now you are trying to hit your best shots. Why not just try it. Here is how to take your swing to the course:

      Definitive Tip For Taking Your New Swing To The Course:

      You need to do something different. If you keep doing the same thing how do you ever get it?

      • November 14, 2019


        Hello Paul
        Followed your advice & for the the first 13 holes I played the best golf I ever had since I started 3 years ago. However after the 13th hole I started to top the ball & hit fat shots.My issue from when I started to play golf at 58yrs old is I get stuck for some reason on my back foot. If I was able to get off my back foot I would approve my game. Your thoughts

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          November 21, 2019

          Paul Wilson


          So you thought you were invincible huh? Happens to the best of us. You need to know exactly what to do when this happens again:

          You Will Top It:
          Lose Your Swing:

          You should have know the fat shot fix. This is so simple. So overall you thought you were invincible because you were playing great golf. in doing so, you started hitting harder and harder which got your arms involved. After the first thin or topped shot you should have recognized this was happening so the next shot you would have swung around easy. Now, you will know this so you will be prepared for it into the future. Good job. This was a big step for you.

  16. February 5, 2020


    Hello PAUL
    Back again for some advice. In regards to triggers,The trigger that I use is turn the belt bucket. The problem that I am having now is my arms move before I move my belt belt causing fat shots & topping the ball. How can I stop moving my arms before I start the downswing ???
    Thank you

    • You have to start slowing down, thsi will start to take the arms out of the golf swing. Then increase the swing speed by starting to turn the body or in your case using the belt buckle as your trigger. There is no magical way to take the arms out of the golf swing, slow down hit some shots 1/2 of what you normally do with a full swing then slowly increase the speed by turning.

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